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May 25, 2017

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Clemson top Ohio State in Orange Bowl after rallying from poor start

MIAMI GARDENS, Florida--For the second time in three years, Clemson fell apart at the Orange Bowl. Only this time, the Tigers found a way to recover.

Tajh Boyd threw for 378 yards and five touchdowns and Sammy Watkins had a record-setting night with 16 catches for 227 yards as the Tigers rallied to beat Ohio State 40-35 on Friday for the school's first Orange Bowl win in 32 years.

In the day's other bowl game, the University of Missouri beat Oklahoma State 41-31 to capture the Cotton Bowl.

Boyd's 5-yard pass to Stanton Seckinger with 6:16 remaining put Clemson ahead to stay on a night when the Tigers allowed 20 unanswered points in wasting an early 11-point lead.

Watkins caught two scoring passes, becoming Clemson's career receptions leader and setting an Orange Bowl record for yardage.

When Clemson played in the Orange Bowl two years ago, the Tigers gave up 21 points in the final 2:29 of the first half, letting a close game turn into a 70-33 blowout loss to West Virginia.

"We are Orange Bowl champs again," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "Two years ago we got our butts kicked on this field. And it has been a journey to get back. "

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